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a Few Quick Questions

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a Few Quick Questions
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, December 18, 2001 11:56 PM
I am just getting back into the hobby and have a few basic questions. My planned layout has two main lines, one with a minimum 22” radius and the other with 18” in a few spots (not all). What problems will I run into with the 18” radius if any?

Also, my wife went to the hobby shop and bought me what they said was a very good engine. (Early Christmas gift) They sold her the KATO EMD SD40-2 snoot Nose. Is this a good engine and will it run well on the main line with the 18” radius. I want an engine that will run very smooth and will perform at slow speeds. Is this a good one or should I be looking at other brands. I would test it out but I do not have anywhere to run it yet. It will be another few months until I begin construction.

Thanks in advance for any advice anyone might have. I look forward to reading the responses.

Jeff
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, December 19, 2001 4:39 AM
Not all rolling stock & engines will run well on 18"radius track.
For instance, the new Walthers passenger cars recommend a 24" and some of your longer engines require 22". I don't have a list.
The Kato SD-2's(both the early and snoot versions)
have electrical problems.
Kato changed over to a different electric system
which eliminated the manufacturing costs associated with soldering wires.
This new system relies soley on copper contact strips but unfortunately the problem exists in the
design of these contact strips.
Off the record, Kato USA admitts this being a defective design, but Kato Japan prefers to ignore
it.
Some dealers may not be aware of the problem while
won't tell you. They don't want to get stuck with a lemon.
Modelrailroader reviewed this engine in Aug 99 and
stated that there are potential problems with the circuit board.
When handleing this engine, Pick it up with two hands, 5 fingers over the front and 5 fingers over
the rear. Don't let the truck suspend.
This is all the quick answer I can come up with.
Chuck Walsh Grand Rapids Mi
locomotive3@prodigy.net
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, December 19, 2001 8:25 AM
CONTINUATION:
Do You and your Wife may wi***o model a particula
period in time? Some modelers do just the late 30's and early 40's, this way they can do late steam & early diesel. Other modelers do the 60's &70's allowing them to do all diesel and match the engine and cars to that period of time. If you both decide on a time era, that time will dictate what you may wi***o buy.
The SD-2 was manufactured by Electro-Motive from
Jan 72 through Feb 86 and as of two years ago, 95%
of them were still in service, so you can cover a broad time frame, but it's your railroad and therefore your decision.
  • Member since
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  • From: Niue
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Posted by thirdrail1 on Wednesday, December 19, 2001 8:49 AM
What scale is your SD40-2? Kato has recently released this locomotive in N scale, which should have no problems with 18 inch or 22 inch curves. In HO, I do not think it will do very well on 18 inch radius curves.
"The public be ***ed, it's the Pennsylvania Railroad I'm competing with." - W.K.Vanderbilt
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, December 19, 2001 9:35 AM
The Snoot will run fine on 18inch radius curves. I was surprised myself when I saw one operating on such tight curves without a problem. Kato posted a simple fix for the "electrical problem" on their web page. It is an awesome loco.

Go to http://www.katousa.com/ click on Consumer, scroll down to HO SD40-2 and click on "Possible Electrical Failure.


Charles: The "strip" design has been used in N scale for quite some time and creates no problems. The strips do need to be cleaned periodically though.
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, December 19, 2001 9:37 AM
As far as brand names go, Kato, Atlas are easily the "best" as far as diesels go. Bachmann makes some nice "Spectrum" steamers,

You may want to talk to the hobby shop for more info
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, December 19, 2001 1:18 PM
I would suggest at least setting up a small circle or oval of track so that you can test the Kato or any other engine you might buy.

In addition to the other brands mentioned you should check out the PROTO 1000 and 2000 line by lifelike and the athearn genesis (you can get good deals on the SD70/75 engines).

I have a similiar set up with two mainlines, 18" for one and 22" for the other. I run proto 2000 gp7s (4 axle locomotive) on the 18" with cars no longer than 50'. I run my Athearn Genesis SD70/75 (6-axle loco) on the 22" with cars as long as 73'. 18" is fine just that you can't run equipment much longer than 50 - 60' (BTW this still leaves you with plenty of choices) without operational problems or poor asthetics.

As for the Kato SD40-2 I understand that the reason they are being let go at such good prices is because of the electrical issue. But if this problem is easily fixed then yeah it sounds like a good deal, if not, then oh well. But how will you find out if you don't have a test track?
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, January 3, 2002 1:52 PM
I went to katos web page and tried to fix my SD40-2 and it did not work.
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, January 4, 2002 4:40 AM
Hoyle,
As a last resort, call Kato in Schaumberg Il @ 1-800-348-5286 They are on central time and do close
for lunch.

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